Jimbo Fisher's ego flares up again at Texas A&M. No surprise there, but what does it mean?

Blake Toppmeyer John Adams

Careful, Jimbo Fisher. Your ego is showing – again.

The Texas A&M coach, in his first news conference since hiring Bobby Petrino as his offensive coordinator, refused to admit that Petrino could implement schematic upgrades within an offense that ranked among the SEC’s worst last season, while the Aggies finished 5-7.

“It’s not scheme,” Fisher said last week. “It’s execution.”

Fisher doubled down when he said schemes do not vary from team to team.

“Everybody does the same thing,” he said. “There’s not a hill of beans between anybody, as far as what goes on.”

This, of course, is false.

College football is a copycat industry, but schemes do vary from one team to another. In fact, during the same week that Fisher said schemes are uniform throughout football, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said his team is changing its defensive scheme.

On this edition of “SEC Football Unfiltered,” a podcast from the USA TODAY Network, hosts Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams unpack potential reasons why Fisher dug in his heels rather than acknowledge that Petrino is his savvy hire brought in to give the Aggies’ offense a facelift.

Fisher admitted Petrino will take over play calling. Adams wonders if Fisher worries that Petrino will receive the bulk of the credit if the Aggies improve on offense.

If Petrino earns praise for play calling and scheme upgrades, what does that leave for Fisher?

TOPPMEYER:Why Hugh Freeze can't repeat Bryan Harsin's mistake with Auburn football quarterbacks

ADAMS:Why Tennessee vs LSU could become big rivalry in all sports

Toppmeyer says Fisher might be trying to steer the coaching staff – including himself – away from blame for last year’s disappointing finish while installing a road block against criticism if the Petrino hire doesn’t elevate A&M’s offensive production. After all, scheme has nothing to do with it, right? It boils down to how players execute, according to Fisher.

Setting up “execution” as a scapegoat won’t prevent Fisher from finding himself on the hot seat if this season goes awry, though.

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It’s possible the Fisher-Petrino union is off to a rocky start, but that interpretation might be reading too much into Fisher's comments. This isn’t the first Fisher news conference in which he’s dug in his heels.

Who can forget Fisher calling Nick Saban a narcissistic false god during a scorched-earth news conference in response to the Alabama coach’s unproven accusation that the Aggies bought every player on their 2022 roster?

The simplest explanation for Fisher’s comments is likely this: His ego interfered, again.

Later in the episode

Which SEC team would be the most appealing landing spot for a transfer quarterback when the portal reopens on April 15? Auburn stands out. Hugh Freeze might as well have posted a “Help Wanted” sign on the Plains with his recent quarterback assessment.

The SEC has now gone 10 straight NCAA Tournaments without producing a men’s basketball national champion and three straight without qualifying a team for the Final Four. On the other hand, the SEC tied its conference record with eight NCAA Tournament qualifiers. Why the championship drought? Start with Kentucky. By John Calipari’s own declaration, UK is a basketball school. Calipari’s salary is tops in the nation. Second-round exits don’t cut it for a basketball school.

Where to listen to SEC Football Unfiltered





Blake Toppmeyer is an SEC Columnist for the USA TODAY Network. John Adams is the senior columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel. You can subscribe to their podcast, SEC Football Unfiltered, or check out the SEC Unfiltered newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.